The New York Yankees entered last night’s first game of a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo, New York, after losing 11 of their last 15 games. The Toronto Blue Jays are one of their East rivals that the Yankees have not been able to beat. Before last night they had lost six of the nine meetings between the two teams this season. Last night the Yankees improved their record against the Jays by winning a hard-fought game 6-5.
Montgomery stumbled, giving up 5 runs
The New York Yankees seem to be locked into a situation that when the pitching is good the hitting isn’t there, and when they do hit the pitching fails them. Last night it looked that way again. Montgomery who has been the second-best Yankee pitcher gave up 5 runs, 4 of them earned in just 5.1 innings of work. He didn’t have his normal command and struck out only 4 Jays on the night. This is his second game in a row that he couldn’t complete six innings. In the two games, he gave up 8 runs and rose his ERA to 4.20, the highest of the season.
When you give up five runs in a game you will normally lose that game. Montgomery however is the one Yankee pitcher that has had luck on his side, the Yankees have won 7 of his last eight starts. In last night’s game, his lack of command allowed four walks, three hard-hit balls, one a home run to Bo Bichette.
Yankee hitters and relievers save the game
The New York Yankee bats that have been so quiet in most games this season were mostly alive last night as they tallied 9 hits, 3 of them home runs. Gary Sanchez, Chris Gittens, and veteran Brett Gardner. Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu, and Clint Frazier also had extra-base hits in the game. To achieve the comeback win the Yankees needed more than hitting. After Montgomery’s exit from the game the Yankees bullpen (Cessa, Loaisiga, Britton, and Chapman) shut down the Jays hitters for 3 2/3 innings of hitless ball..
The Yankees did have missed opportunities in the game. In the fifth inning the Yankees with two on and one out, ever only able to bring in one run. The Yankees also hit into their 35th double play of the season. The big news, however, is that the Yankees offense was able to overcome a five-run deficient and claw their way back to a come-from-behind win.
Chris Gittens gets first hit in a big way
On June 5th failing first baseman Mike Ford was designated for assignment. In a corresponding move, the Yankees brought first baseman Chris Gittens up from Scranton to hold down the position. In his minor league season, he had 4 home runs in his first 15 games and hit a batting average of 2.81. Since his promotion, Gittens has struggled to get his first hit in the majors.
That all changed last night in a minor league park in Buffalo, NY. Gittens got his first hit and it wasn’t a quiet one, he hit a 439′ home run over the left-field fence. A fan visiting from the Queens grabbed the ball off the grass. After negotiations, the Yankees were able to retrieve the ball for Gittens. It is unclear what the fan got in return for giving up the ball, but you can bet he has a few Yankee Stadium tickets in his pocket.
We learned during the game that rehabbing starting pitcher Luis Severino has been diagnosed with a grade two groin strain after exiting a game in Brooklyn with the Hudson Valley Renegades. This is horrible news for the Yankees as he was approaching a return to Yankee Stadium. He will not have to rehab that strain for the next four to six weeks before he can restart his pitching rehab games. This will move back his return to late August or early September if all goes well.
When the New York Yankee return to Yankee Stadium this Friday to face the Oakland Athletics they will celebrate the reopening of Yankee Stadium with a 100% allowed capacity. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the iconic Stadium will be at full capacity for the first time since the 2019 season.